The Gender Fence

August 12th, 2015 Barry Posted in Feminist cartoons, LGBT cartoons | No Comments »

gender-fence-1200

If you argue with the more intelligent conservatives about gender issues, sooner or later you are challenged with a famous quote from G. K. Chesterton:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

That argument makes sense as far as it goes; but what it ignores is why the “modern type of reformer” wants the fence taken down. It ignores the possibility that the person wanting the fence taken down is reacting to real and immediate pain, and that there might actually be some urgency in the situation.

Transcript of cartoon.

This cartoon has two panels.
PANEL ONE
In the first panel, a genderqueer person whose gender presentation is ambiguous, is talking to a suburban-looking man wearing a polo shirt. There’s a old-fashioned wooden rail fence running between them.

CAPTION: How they see gender.
GENDERQUEER PERSON (sternly): We need to dismantle this fence.
SUBURBAN MAN (cheerfully): Whoa! Let’s not rush.

PANEL TWO
The same scene, except now the post of the fence is going through the genderqueer person’s back, pinning them to the ground, and they are in agony.

CAPTION: How I see gender.
GENDERQUEER PERSON (agonized): WE NEED TO DISMANTLE THIS FENCE!
SUBURBAN MAN (cheerfully): Whoa! Let’s not rush.